By Paul Bridges, February 5, 2020
Is it only me, or wasn’t it just yesterday when we last experienced a ‘roller coaster’ POA Board election?
We have 5 candidates before us – 4 of whom can generally be grouped as ‘agents of change’, with a 5th who appears to be more closely aligned with the current administration and its policies. That distinction, of itself, should serve to narrow the pack.
Regardless, all 5 candidates deserve a great deal of credit. HSV needs property owners who are willing to take on this challenging – and controversial – leadership role. These 5 candidates have all taken that plunge. And for that, we owe them our sincere ‘thanks’.
So what sets them apart from each other?
Nikki Choyce is the one candidate who stands alone. Having only been a HSV resident for 9 months, she clearly brings the ‘freshest’ perspective – but unfortunately, without the on-the-ground history on who we are, how far we have come, or the issues before us. Perhaps even more note-worthy is her obvious alignment with the current POA administration, particularly in her role as Chair of the CMP Advisory Committee.
Our second candidate is Kirk Denger — widely known for his unsuccessful 2019 bid for a seat on the Board. Surprisingly, the two positions which contributed to last year’s defeat continue to be front-and-center in his platform, today. Kirk believes that our monthly assessments should be tied to our individual county property tax levies – reportedly benefiting 2/3 of our property owners (with the other 1/3 presumably carrying that load). He also advocates that property owners be allowed to vote on all ‘key’ HSV issues/decisions (without elaborating on who will bear the $25,000 to $30,000 price tag on each and every member-wide vote).
The other three candidates are Lloyd Sherman, Tucker Omohundro, and Dick Garrison. They have their individual platforms – but are basically aligned on the changes that need to be made. A number of Property Owners have even labeled them the ‘LTD Coalition’ (Lloyd, Tucker, Dick) – as the three candidates to put in those chairs.
We already know Dick Garrison, as the property owner whom we voted onto the Board in 2019 — but who was subsequently ‘removed’ from office by his fellow Board Members (reportedly for reasons ranging from violating the rules governing Board Member behavior to interfering with the CEO in the performance of her duties). Dick has a strong business background and advocates major changes in HSV’s bylaws and governing documents – to bring HSV back to the operational structure that once served us so well.
Tucker Omohundro is almost an HSV legend. He worked for Cooper Communities from nearly the birth of HSV and played a hands-on role in actually building our community. Tucker’s strength is understandably in the construction arena, with extensive insight into the ACC Committee and its pivotal role in a viable HSV.
Lloyd Sherman also ran in 2019. He returns in 2020 with a platform of revising/simplifying HSV’s ByLaws, restoring the Board’s hands-on role, revisiting the POA’s staffing and compensation structure, and re-evaluating (or dramatically scaling back) the CMP. Dick Garrison and Tucker Omohundro basically share those same beliefs.
So it is now up to HSV’s Property Owners.
A vote for Sherman/Omohundro/Garrison (and possibly even Denger) will potentially create a 4 to 3 Board majority favoring a dramatic change in how we operate. A vote for Choyce (regardless of the other 2 votes) will potentially deliver a divided Board (with the Board Chair ultimately casting the deciding votes), or a Board Majority favoring the status quo (depending on who the Board names as its 2020/21 Chair).
Of course none of us have a crystal ball revealing how any Board member will vote on any given issue. All we can hope for is more community-wide harmony than we have experienced in the recent past. And that means being more accepting of even those Board decisions that run counter to what we personally believe.
Easy to say; hard to do; but that’s what it will take if we want to continue ‘Livin the Dream’…
By Paul Bridges, February 5, 2020